One of the natural benefits of being situated in Marlborough is the dry, windy summers that keep disease pressure low in the vineyard. This lessens the general need for chemical fungicide spray in the valley and in our case, eliminates the need altogether. After our already established natural practices, followed by our no chemical approach, going organic seemed like a natural step for Clos Henri. We are fully certified organic from the harvest of 2013.
In order to grow Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir that express the peculiarities of our three unique soil types on the estate, reducing the inputs that could alter the flavour and quality of the wines was inevitable. Clos Henri believes organic practices bring out the best in the fruit and produces the finest wines which truly express their terroir. It also shows vintage variation which is one of the most interesting parts of winemaking. As you taste the wine, it tells you the story of its life and its origins.
A few examples of organic practices being used includes; incorporating compost with vineyard soil, spreading mussel shells, grazing sheep and many other seasonal inputs to rejuvenate and maintain the natural balance of the soil.
Maintaining and sustaining the humus content, bacterial, fungal life and earthworm activity of the soil is where composting comes in. Compost is an immediate source of nutrients and it is also a soil conditioner. All the biodegradable wastes produced on the property become precious ingredients for the compost heap.
Mussel shells, locally sourced from the Marlborough Sounds, are spread throughout the vines acting as a source of calcium for the soil. Sheep graze in the vineyard to control grass and weeds over the winter and mulching vine pruning returns a carbon source vital for soil health back into the soil.
"As a result of organics, the soil is much softer and more moist, allowing the root system to grow deeper and more intensively. The vigour is more balanced, the plants are less susceptible to weather extremes and the whole vineyard is humming with life. The whole estate seems to becoming healthier and healthier after each passing year."
Fabiano Frangi, Vineyard Manager